When you connect to the Internet or perform computer tasks, many elements of hardware and software are necessary to make all this possible. Each program you run on your computer to complete tasks is considered application software. Software is necessary for hardware to perform the tasks you ask it to do, like print a paper or connect to the Internet. Not only that, software is also responsible for maintenance and performance tasks that you are probably not even aware of. The most basic tasks and functional level software that enables the computer to function and run application software is called system software.
Your operating system (OS) is a core component of your computer’s system software. It is responsible for the look and feel of your computer, how it operates, and how it is compatible with hardware and application software. There are many operating systems created by many companies and function, just like there are hundreds of brands for clothing and food. Although they perform many similar functions, they layout and programming is different among these companies.
Most people use Windows OS (like XP, Vista, and the newest one, Windows 7). Although most computers are sold with Windows operating systems, there are actually quite a few OS’s created by dozens of companies. The two most popular OS’s used today are Microsoft’s Windows, and Apple’s Macintosh.
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